About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Hanged (ch. 7:1 - 10)
are a couple of things to note in verses 1 and 2.
First is the drinking of wine.
Persians were well known for their wine drinking back then.
They drank a lot.
other thing to note is that Xerxes hasn't forgotten that he believes
Esther has something to ask him, which she hasn't done yet.
He again states that he will give her up to half of the kingdom
to her. All he needs to know
is what she wants. As I said
earlier, the idea that the king would give half the kingdom to her was
an idiom of the day. You
can't take that literally. Most
all scholars believe this to be idiomatic.
see Esther's reply in verse 3. She
is finally going to tell the king what she wants.
Note that she, the king's wife, addresses the king with great
respect by calling him king and majesty.
There is both respect and fear seen in Esther.
Even the queen, the wife of the emperor, could not be too
familiar to the emperor.
see that Esther did not want money or any other material thing.
She wanted "her life".
This must have confused Xerxes a bit.
I don't think he would have had any clue what she was talking
about. She, as far as he
knew, was not in danger of losing her life.
goes on to say, "spare my people". I
doubt still that Xerxes caught on to what she was talking about.
There is no hint in the book of Ruth that Xerxes knew that Esther
was a Jew, so he wouldn't know what she was talking about.
verse 4 Esther tells the king that her people have been sold for
destruction, slaughter, and annihilation. You
might ask what it means by "being sold'.
Haman was willing to pay lots of money, as we saw earlier, for
the annihilation of the Jews.
continues by saying if her people were to be simply sold into slavery,
she would not have bothered the king with such a trivial thing.
You and I would not call being sold into slavery as being
trivial, but back then, as not trivial as it might have been, you would
not bother the king with such a thing.
Again, you see the respect, even fear, that Esther had for
verse 5 Xerxes asks the only question that could be asked.
"Who is the man who would do such a thing".
I think at this moment Haman would have been crushed.
I think he knew now that his days were numbered.
His whole life was now crashing to the ground.
Once the second most important man in all Persia
will soon be executed.
6 is the clincher. Esther
answers by saying, "the adversary and enemy is Haman".
Esther just pierced Haman's heart with a figurative sword.
We can't imagine how proud Haman felt now. The text says that
"Haman was terrified". Pride
really does go before a fall.
verse 7 we see that Xerxes left his wine and went into the garden.
This is typical when someone is suddenly stunned with information
they knew nothing of. People
get up, walk it off, and think things over.
He had no idea that his wife, the queen, was a Jew, and he was
the one who decreed to destroy the Jews, and it was all because of
Haman. He was between a rock
and a hard place, but there was nothing he could do other than to
dispose of Haman.
stayed inside to persuade Esther to save his life.
I doubt if Esther had ever given that a second thought. The
proud man is now groping for help. The
scene would have looked very pitiful.
verse 8 we see that the king returns to see Haman on the couch with
Esther. The text states that
the king thought that Haman is molesting Esther, which would have given
him an immediate reason to have Haman executed.
I'm not sure that Haman was molesting Esther.
He might well have been so upset that he pounced on her in fear
and was pleading with her for help.
Whatever the case, Xerxes took his actions as molestation.
Therefore, the king's servants covered Haman's head and took him
away. The covering of
Haman's head is something they did back then when someone was led away
to be killed. It's like us
covering a dead body today. As
soon as Haman's head was covered, he would have known it was all over
for him. There was no
escaping death. Certain
Muslims in the middle east still do this today.
chapter ends by Haman being "hung" on the "gallows"
he had made for Mordecai to be hung on.
How ironic. As I said
earlier, the word "gallows' here should not be understood as
westerners understand gallows, and, Haman wasn't exactly hung.
Bible teachers say that what really happened in Persia back then
was that people, in this case Haman, were impaled by a big stick and
then place on some kind of platform and lifted into the air for all to
see. This was meant to be
both a punishment and a warning to others.
This type of execution is the forerunner to Roman style
crucifixion, the way Jesus died.